I got this cute picture of Caleb Tuesday building a train track. He’s 2 and usually just puts basic track pieces together so I was surprised to see him adding blocks and ramps to bridges and a train station. He was so serious while he was working on his track. I love his bright blue eyes deciding if the camera was worth smiling for or if he just wanted to stay focused on his work.
Caleb is my slightly sneaky child. Earlier on this day he was discovered hiding in the kitchen with a container of strawberries – most had one bite taken out of them. He keeps me on my toes, that’s for sure. This is also the first child of the seven to enjoy putting things in the toilet. We have had to pull out the downstairs toilet more than once to get out something he’d flushed. I’ve mentioned before Caleb’s fascination with knives too. He goes for the biggest, sharpest one he can find.
He’s also into demolition. He got an apple peeler and started chipping away at the drywall one day. When we hid the peeler he found a car with a wedge front that was sharp enough to get back to work.
BOYS! I really don’t find this all as funny as I suspect Heavenly Father does. I was the oldest of two children – both girls. I had no brothers and little idea what they were really like. Mothering soon to be six sons is certainly expanding my horizons. It’s exhausting!
A friend asked me how I handle all these boys because she’s at her wits end with her one little man who came after four sisters. Honestly, I try to set ground rules (like no wrestling without Daddy overseeing it), enforce the rules consistently, keep them busy, and wear out my boys on a daily basis. When they have too much free time and extra energy boys get mischievous. Their minds come up with all sorts of questions they simply MUST test out and they have some sort of mom radar to know exactly when and where to go so I won’t notice in time to step in.
Does my method work? Sort of. Those stories I told about Caleb at the beginning of this post would be multiplied by hundreds every week if I was not proactively keeping all my boys busy and wearing them out. Of course with soon to be six boys in the house I still have a lot of those stories each week anyway, but it could be worse. I can’t keep ahead of every crazy idea my boys come up with. I shudder to think about how many more they would execute if I wasn’t paying attention.
The other thing I do, and this goes for girls as well, is remind myself that the very traits that drive me to distraction now will one day be wonderful in adults. A determined child who fights tooth and nail to get their way can become a determined adult who won’t give up in the face of challenges. A destructive take everything apart tendency now looks like an engineer as an adult, fixing complicated problems. A physically non-stop, active child now may be the Special Forces Squad leader of tomorrow keeping our nation safe. A bossy trying to parent their siblings child now is developing wonderful leadership skills to use in their own family or in the workplace one day.
I love my children – boys and girls. They are awesome creations of a mighty God who thrives on diversity and working miracles with imperfect vessels. He uses these children to mold me in ways that nothing else could, chipping away at my pride, my imperfections, and my own selfishness. It’s a blessed life!